My sisters and I walked through the door of my apartment last night just after midnight.
That would be exactly eleven hours later than anticipated.
Yesterday morning I woke up quite jolly, pulled up the shutters, and then...oh hey, remember that winter wonderland I was pining for?
Got it, in full force.
In a panic I booted up the computer and tracked their flight, and could see they were still arriving in Frankfurt on time, but their connecting flight to Zurich was cancelled and I had zero way to get ahold of them because they didn't bring their cellphones with them.
I pulled up every single conceivable Lufthansa and Star Alliance flight out of Frankfurt that they could transfer to, looked at the train schedules from Frankfurt to Zurich, and then made my way up to Zurich airport to wait for them to get in touch with me, and to watch the arrivals coming in from Frankfurt.
It was a really long day, I was surrounded by anxious people waiting for lost loved ones, and angry people waiting for lost loved ones. I even got to talking with one lady who'd been waiting two days for her niece who was from Canada, but arriving after a visit to Copenhagen; we had a nice long chat and she gave me her brother's business card so the next time I'm in Montreal I can get some really great cheese.
(When my brother first moved to Montreal, nobody wanted his cheese because people only wanted to eat that Cheese Wheez you have. I dipped my head in modest acknowledgment of our fake-food substitutes, but couldn't be that sorry because obviously she'd never tasted how delicious a tunnel of orange Cheez Whiz on a crunchy green stick of celery can be.)
I did experience anxiety when every single flight I thought they could transfer to either (a) was cancelled or (b) landed without them on the plane, but Meg finally was able to call me and gave me the details of the flight she and Ais were booked on.
That plane was delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and I was starting to worry we were going to miss the last train to Bern, but as it was the plane finally landed so that we could take the last train to Bern and catch the last bus home.
But my long day in the airport has got nothing on Meg and Ais' day, where amongst other travelling nightmares (and there were a lot) they had to evacuate an area of the Frankfurt airport due to suspicions over an abandoned bag. They had been waiting in a four hour long line to get themselves booked onto another plane, when a lady left her bag in the line-up to mark her place while she went to the bathroom. When security demanded to know who's bag was lying on the ground, and no one claimed it, the whole line-up was evacuated down to some tunnel in the basement of the airport. Ais said that the people who'd been evacuated from the line-up just became little emotional torches, and were exploding in anger: especially the people who had been at the front of this four hour long line. As it was, this abandoned bag episode ironically worked in Meg and Ais' favour, because when they were given the okay to go back to the ticket counter, Meghan ran and shoved and got down right ruthless, and she was first in line: she got them on the last plane that would fly into Zurich that day.
As they walked through arrivals and we finally got to hug and exclaim: What the fuck! and Holy Shit! and I Can't Believe It! it was unanimously decided that we are going to rock the shit out this Christmas. We will have ourselves a 'merry little Christmas', we will bring 'joy to the world', we probably won't have a 'silent night', and this 'yueltide will be gay' because my sisters 'made it home for Christmas'.